Whistleblower protections are being extended to more public-sector employees in British Columbia as part of an expansion of the Public Interest Disclosure Act.
The Ministry of Attorney General says in a statement that the act applies to government ministry staff and independent offices of the legislature, but as of Friday it also includes employees at most provincial tribunals, agencies, boards and commissions.
The statement says the act, which became law in December 2019, allows employees to share information about wrongdoings that affect the public interest with designated officers or the Office of the Ombudsperson without reprisals.
The ministry says more agencies, boards and commissions will be covered by the protections later this year followed by health authorities and the education sector over the next two years.
The whistleblower protection law was introduced following a report by ombudsperson Jay Chalke into the 2012 firing of eight Health Ministry workers, one of whom later died by suicide.
A B.C. government employees union lawyer told the province’s public inquiry into money laundering last year that better whistleblower protections for front-line casino workers may have prevented illegal cash from circulating at gaming venues.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 1, 2022.